Showing Up

I have been writing pretty much every morning, and I feel like a mess. It’s never good enough. But I want to give myself credit for showing up to the page, because, frankly, my writing will never be good enough in my eyes. I have started to realize that trying to prove myself to myself is a losing battle.

The page always stares me down. The blankness of it. And you know what’s funny? Not having anything to write about often makes me feel like I’m going to die. It’s one of the worst feelings in the world. I think I’m a failure and a mess and I am going to die. I start to panic and then I resort to blaming myself. (Really productive, I know.) Why is it always so hard? And why do the stakes seem so, incredibly high?

It’s interesting how invested I have become in being A Writer, with a capital ‘W’. If I don’t produce anything, then I am A Failure. And yet, the irony is that high stakes equals low yield. In other words, when I put too much pressure on myself, I write less.

So here is my thought for the day: showing up is the most important part. It’s so easy to discount this fact. Obviously, this is easier said than done, but this is my touchstone concept to return to when the going gets tough. Have I shown up? Good. Have I excelled? Doesn’t matter. Keep plugging away and don’t get distracted by Doubt with a capital ‘D’.

3 Comments

  1. I don’t consider myself a writer (I dabble) but I know I’ve never gotten anything done by twiddling my thumbs. That vulnerability you write of is very real to most people who’ve ever tried a hand at this craft. It always makes me feel a certain camaraderie when I see my own fears expressed through others.

    Sometimes, when I just can’t seem to get going, I read other writers’ blog posts about writing.

    And comment. It’s a start.

    😉

    1. Thanks for your comment. Yes, it’s amazing isn’t it, how common it is to feel this fear when writing, and yet how isolating it can be? I also find that it helps to read others’ writing on writing. It’s just so important to remember that we are not alone. And that doubt is part of the process, no matter how unpleasant it can be.

      Happy writing. I know you say you don’t consider yourself a writer, but don’t sell yourself short!

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